Agenda and minutes

Children, Education and Skills Sub Committee - Thursday, 25th March, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: The meeting will be held virtually and live streamed - please use the link below. -. View directions

Contact: Maria Parkinson  Email:


No. Item


Appointment of substitutes

To be informed of the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.



There were no substitute members



To receive any declarations of interest

You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.


You are also invited to disclose any dispensation from the requirement to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda


There were no declarations of interest.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2021.


Resolved that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 14 January 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Chair. 



An overview of Children and Young People's Mental Health pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To provide Members of the Sub-Committee an update of the impact of Covid 19 on children and young people’s mental health

Additional documents:


The Sub-Committee received a report on the impact of Covid 19 on children and young people’s mental health. 


Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, the Local Authority had experienced an increase in the proportion of children and young people presenting with social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) issues. Between 2017/18 and 2019/20 there was a 45% increase in the proportion of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued with SEMH as a primary need, alongside an increase in the proportion of children and young people presenting with emerging SEMH needs.


The government were committed to significantly expand mental health support for children and young people, recognising that young people had been uniquely impacted by the pandemic.


NHS research suggested that 1 in 6 young people might now have a mental health problem, up from 1 in 9 in 2017. It was anticipated that the number of mental health support teams in schools and colleges would grow from 59 to 400 by April 2023, supporting nearly 3 million children. The ambition was that mental health support teams would work in a variety of ways, including enabling children to text their local mental health support team, with a health professional responding within an hour during the school day offering them advice, or providing families with tips on how to spot that the children and young people were struggling with their mental health.


During the pandemic, Local Authority officers and school leaders had maintained a focus on monitoring pupils’ mental health and wellbeing and recognised that many families had experienced raised levels of anxiety and to try to capture some emerging issues they completed a staff survey in February 2021. The outcomes were a snapshot of the views of staff in schools at that point and responses were received from 60% of schools. From this sample, 77% of responses were from Primary and First Schools and this was before the wider re-opening of schools on 8 March 2021 so more issues might arise as pupils returned to school.


From the survey findings, 96% of schools felt Covid19 had a detrimental impact on the mental health of children and young people. It was also felt that children and young people were resilient and would overcome the issues they were experiencing with the right nurturing and support.

Anxiety, loneliness, relationship issues and poor sleep ranked the highest in terms of negative impact.  Free text responses suggested that the first national lockdown and period of school closure had less of a negative impact than ongoing periods of isolation due to positive cases, contact tracing and then self isolation. 

Young people had spent long periods of time on computers and devices and missed social interaction with peers at lunch and break times. Other issues identified were lack of motivation, lack of resilience, more extreme behaviour and frustration and not being allowed to socialise beyond the bubble.


In terms of the strong link between physical and mental health, restrictions placed upon schools and clubs to prevent the spread  ...  view the full minutes text for item CES38


Post 16 Education pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To provide an update on participation and the options available in post 16 education, employment and training in North Tyneside.


The Sub-Committee received an update on participation and the options available in post 16 education, employment and training in North Tyneside and the changes that had occurred during 2020-21 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


It was a requirement of the September Guarantee that a suitable offer of education or training was made to all young people aged 16-17 years. In 2020, the impact of Covid-19 meant that this guarantee became even more important with a focus of the Authority’s Connexion Service being to work with schools to ensure that over 2000 young people due to leave school in July 2020 had an early recorded ‘intended destination’ with ‘offers of learning’ being secured as quickly as possible.


A key focus for the team was those wanting to progress to Apprenticeships and employment with training; expected to be impacted by the pandemic, as well as vulnerable young people including those at risk of being Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), Care Leavers and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).


The Local Authority continued to track the participation and destinations of all young people aged 16-17 to ensure that they continued to receive appropriate provision of education and training.


In January 2021 in North Tyneside, 94.2% of young people were in Education, Employment or Training (EET), 2.8% were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), for 1.4% destination was unknown, 84.6% were in Full Time Education, 6.8% in Apprenticeships and 2.4% in Work Based Learning. 


North Tyneside compared favourably with other North East Local Authority areas and the national average when comparing participation in EET and NEET Rates. In addition, participation in Apprenticeships amongst 16 and 17 year olds, despite a small decline this year, was significantly higher than the national and regional average despite apprenticeship starts falling in North Tyneside since the introduction of Apprenticeship Reforms in 2017 and 2018.


In terms of the destinations, the majority of young people leaving at Year 11 continued into school sixth forms or attended further education colleges.

The Local Authority were currently engaging with 31 school pupils with bespoke pathway vocational and skills support who might fall into the NEET category.


The Government had introduced a number of measures to boost job creation including the Kickstart Scheme, Skills for Jobs Plan and flexible Lifetime Skills Guarantee.


The Kickstart Scheme was a £2 billion fund to create 6-month work placements aimed at those aged 16-24 who were on universal credit and were deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding available for each job would cover 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus the associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions. 


The 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years had been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic with regular changes in restrictions and guidance meaning that all providers had to adapt their offer to provide a mix of classroom and remote learning and to introduce new health and safety measures including Covid  ...  view the full minutes text for item CES39